500 recipes, 11,000 baguettes, 3M bananas and more

500 recipes, 11,000 baguettes, 3M bananas and more

500 recipes, 11,000 baguettes, 3M bananas and more

People are going bananas for the Olympics.

The Paris Summer Olympics 2024 will run from July 26 through August 11, and it’s all about the numbers, with 10,500 athletes from 206 countries participating in 329 events in total, according to ESPN.

But the numbers get even more elaborate when it comes to the food: 40,000 meals per day, 3 million bananas and 80,000 pounds of coffee grounds.

The Paris Summer Olympics 2024 will run from July 26 through August 11. Shutterstock / kovop

The food provider, Sodexo Live!, and the chefs feeding the athletes at Olympic Village have quite the task of feeding the entire support staff in the Village plus the 10,500 athletes who are relying on food for fuel — putting pressure on these chefs to provide food for athletes to eat both before and after competing and help them perform at their best.

“Literally welcoming the people from around the world, 206 nations, is insane,” Estelle Lamotte, Sodexo Live! director of Athletes’ Village operations, told Delish. “It is going to be quite fun to see all the different athletes around the village, seeing the culture. That is why they call it a village.”

The 500 recipes being served are more than just a meal. A lot of logistics go into the preparation of food at the Olympics, such as nutritional needs, sustainable sourcing, diversity of options, culinary traditions from around the world and so on.

The tricky part is there’s no one-size-fits-all diet for Olympic athletes.

Some load up on carbohydrates while others prefer a high-protein, low-sugar diet, so Olympic Village dining needs to have it all: a wide range of both white and red meat, rice, pasta, nuts, yogurts, lean proteins, whole-grain bread, fruits, vegetables and electrolyte-rich fluids.

Sodexo Live! has quite the task of feeding the entire support staff plus the 10,500 athletes who are relying on food for fuel. SODEXO LIVE!

The executive chef of Olympic Village, Charles Guilloy, has a goal to “meet the nutritional needs of the 15,000 athletes taking part in the Games, while respecting the eating and tasting habits of over 200 nationalities…to make the athletes feel right at home and to perform,” he told Food & Wine.

“For athletes, there is certainly an extra dimension to menu planning. Nutrition plays a crucial role in sports performance,” he added. “The menus have been developed in collaboration with specialized sports nutritionists and with the involvement of the Paris 2024 Athletes Commission.”

The main dining hall is open 24/7 and has 3,500 seats — and it’s being dubbed one of the largest restaurants in the world. SODEXO LIVE!

The International Olympic Committee originally wanted 1,000 different dishes with over nine culinary themes. They settled on four different culinary themes: French, Asian, World and African-Caribbean, including halal options.

“We’re in France, so we wanted to offer both quality, with 500 recipes devised by chefs, and a real diversity of meals, so that all the world’s athletes can find what they like to eat before their competition, and those who will be staying for several weeks can enjoy the pleasure of being in France,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said in a statement.

Once the themes were set, Lamotte shared that they worked backward to find the best dishes for every theme and used those to formulate the menu.

They settled on four different culinary themes: French, Asian, World and African-Caribbean, including halal options. SODEXO LIVE!
Chefs from Sodexo Live! will have 500 different recipes to serve. SODEXO LIVE!

Designed by the company’s chefs, Charles Guilloy and Stephane Chicheri, with help from famed French partner chefs Akrame Benallal, Amandine Chaignot and Alexandre Mazzia, the key recipes for the Olympics menu include:

  • French theme: veggie bourguignon and a brandade de morue (salt cod and potato mash)
  • Asian theme: minced pork with Thai basil and basmati rice and cauliflower and baked potato with turmeric
  • African-Caribbean theme: bell pepper, onion, tomato and pepper stir fry and a fried shrimp with chermoula sauce
  • World theme: lamb and mint juice reduction and veggie moussaka

Other signature dishes set to be served up include: chicken tandir, poached egg croissant, artichoke cream, goat cheese and truffle, smoked salted hake with tapioca in a veggie bouillon, almado-style bread salad, and zaatar sweet potato with hummus and chimichurri.

Two million meals will be prepared for the athletes, with 40,000 meals being served daily. SODEXO LIVE!
Nearly 15,000 people will rely on the chefs and caterers for the proper nutrition. SODEXO LIVE!
Sodexo Live! will provide all the food — there will be no outside restaurants and no private chefs in the village. SODEXO LIVE!

When people think of Olympic statistics, they often think of meters swam, possible points in gymnastics, medals won, time taken, etc. — but what about the food stats?

Here are some of the fun food facts of the 2024 Summer Olympics:

  • 2 million meals will be prepared for the athletes, with 40,000 meals being served daily
  • Nearly 15,000 people will rely on the chefs and caterers for the proper nutrition
  • Bananas, coffee and chocolate are the only items that are coming form other countries
  • There will be 3 million bananas brought in for the athletes to eat
  • There will be 27 tons (54,000 pounds) of coffee — and 40 tons (80,000 pounds) of coffee residue as the grinds will be reused as fertilizer
  • Even though the Olympics will be in France, French fries will not be served — but not due to a lack of nutritional value. Rather, there is a potential fire risk of using deep fryers around so many people
  • 80% of the menu will be sourced from France, with 25% being within 25 kilometers (about 15 miles) of the host city of Paris
  • All meat, milk and eggs will be from France
  • Plant-based ingredients will make up about one-third of the food
  • The main dining hall is open 24/7 and has 3,500 seats — and it’s being dubbed one of the largest restaurants in the world
  • Village dining includes a salad bar, grill, cheese station, bakery, hot food buffet, fruit bar and desert bar
  • 600–800 baguettes will be baked a day for the Olympic athletes
  • 30% of the food will be organic
  • The main dining hall will have 47,000 reusable plates instead of disposable plates for the first time ever
  • Avocados will not be available to those in the Olympic Village because they would need to be imported from a great distance and require lots of water to grow
  • There will be a condiment bar with 85 different options
  • Chefs from Sodexo Live! will have 500 different recipes to serve
  • Sodexo Live! will provide all the food — there will be no outside restaurants in the village and no private chefs in the village
  • There will be an in-village bakery with workshops on how to make baguettes, croissants and other pastries
  • There are 15 different dining locations across the 52-acre village
  • Sodexo Live! will also be providing food to the millions of attendees